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Sea lice infection of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha): effects on swimming performance and postexercise ion balance

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Sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) infection negatively affected swimming performance and postswim body ion concentrations of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) at a 0.34g average body mass but not at 1.1g. Maximum swimming velocity (Umax) was measured on over 350 individual pink salmon (0.2–3.0g), two-thirds of which had a sea lice infection varying in intensity (one to three sea lice per fish) and life stage (chalimus 1 to preadult). For fish averaging 0.34g (caught in a nearby river free of sea lice and transferred to seawater before being experimentally infected), the significant reduction in Umax was dependent on sea lice life stage, not intensity, and Umax decreased only after the chalimus2 life stage. Experimental infections also significantly elevated postswim whole body concentrations of sodium (by 23%–28%) and chloride (by 22%–32%), but independent of sea lice developmental stage or infection intensity. For fish averaging 1.1g (captured in seawater with existing sea lice), the presence of sea lice had no significant effect on either Umax or postswim whole body ions. Thus, a single L.salmonis impacted swimming performance and postswim whole body ions of only the smallest pink salmon and with a sea louse stage of chalimus3 or greater.

Les infections à poux de mer Lepeophtheirus salmonis affectent négativement la performance de nage et la concentration corporelle d'ions après la nage chez les jeunes saumons roses (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) à une masse corporelle moyenne de 0,34g, mais non à 1,1g. Nous avons mesuré la vitesse maximale de nage (Umax) chez 350 saumons roses individuels (0,2–3,0g) dont les deux-tiers portaient des infections à poux de mer d'intensité variable (un à trois poux par poisson) et de stades différents du cycle biologique (larve chalimus 1 à pré-adulte). Chez les poissons de masse moyenne de 0,34g (prélevés dans une rivière adjacente, libres de poux de mer et transférés en eau de mer avant d'être infectés expérimentalement), la réduction significative de Umax dépend du stade du cycle biologique des poux de mer et non de l'intensité de l'infection; elle commence à diminuer seulement après le stade chalimus2. Les infections expérimentales accroissent aussi significativement les concentrations de sodium (de 23–28 %) et de chlorures (de 22–32 %) du corps entier après la nage, mais indépendamment du stade de développement des poux de mer et de l'intensité de l'infection. Chez les poissons de masse moyenne de 1,1g (capturés en mer déjà infectés de poux de mer), la présence de poux de mer n'a aucun effet significatif sur Umax, ni sur les ions corporels totaux après la nage. Ainsi, un seul L.salmonis affecte la performance de nage et les ions corporels totaux après la nage de seulement les plus petits saumons roses et seulement si le pou est au stade chalimus3 ou un stade plus avancé.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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